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My Dad was a “jack of all trades”. He made and fixed a lot of things. Afterall, with four children to feed, he had to figure out a way to make what little money he had stretch as far as he could. We didn’t have fancy swings in the back yard, but instead we had a potato sack swing. For those of you who don’t know what that is, well it’s a burlap potato bag filled with straw, tied off at the end (so the straw doesn’t come out), and tied by a long rope to a tree limb. The trick was to straddle the bag and hold it tight between your legs and hang on to the rope. Then someone would push you like on a regular swing. The fun part was that the swing not only went back and forth, but round and round, sometimes spinning out of control. It was all you could do to hang on and not fall off… and we DID fall off from time to time! Dad would swing us high enough that we would go above his head, and he was over 6 feet tall. To a six-year-old, that was high!! Our family spent many evenings before dark taking turns swinging in the back yard while Mom finished dinner.

Dad at this time also worked for Dr. Pepper and was the Pastor at Neal’s Chapel Baptist Church in BondsvilleĀ Arkansas. I remember well the long drives from Dell to Bondsville and back every Sunday. We had a white station wagon, and we could stretch out in the seats and sleep on the way. The wagon also served another special purpose that I remember. In the summer one year, Dad used it in our Vacation Bible School parade. The parade itself was a church sponsored thing where usually a couple of members would decorate their cars with streamers and such, then ride around town and invite people to send their children for a week of Bible study at the church. Dad decided we would use our station wagon and load it up with all the children that wanted to go and have a parade. He took black shoe polish and wrote V.B.S. and the dates all over the sides of the car. He took his time and wrote it very neatly, which was a good thing because after the parade, when he washed the car, it didn’t come off!! We rode around for weeks with V.B.S. written all over our white car in what had faded to purple letters!! He never did that again!

We didn’t keep that car much longer after that. One night, on the way home, we had a flat tire and had to stop on the side of the road. Dad changed the tire, closed the tailgate and we headed for home. Tracy, my youngest brother was only about 3 years old, and had crawled into the back and fell asleep. I remember waking up at home and getting out of the car, but Mom and Dad couldn’t get Tracy to wake up. He had fallen asleep with his face against the tailgate which may not have been closed well, and had been breathing almost pure carbon monoxide. Mom was panicking and Dad was doing everything he could think of to wake him up. Luckily, he did wake up and they fed him some ice cream to keep him conscience. Not long after that, Dad got rid of the station wagon.

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Comments on: "The White Station Wagon" (5)

  1. Daddy had to do mouth to mouth on Tracy as he had stopped breathing. The icecream came later. It was a harrowing event.

    • I can’t remember all the details, but i knew he was in real danger of losing his life that night. Mom and Dad had sent us to bed, but you were older and understood what was happening. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Carmelita Hinch Jackson Wilson: NANCY, it was raining lightly when we got out of that station wagon and I think the rain revived Tracy. Ken said he wasn’t breathing. Also just before we got home, He told Lisa to wake the boys up because we were just about home. Lisa said “Daddy, Tracy won’t wake up, he’s possuming (playing possum). We had been singing “Remind Me Dear Lord”, and He did just that. What a horrible night!

    • Mama..and the rest of you…I watched Daddy do mouth to mouth on Tracy that night…he was not breathing…the reason Daddy had told me to wake him up was that Tracy was making a funny sound which I know now was gasping. He was not getting air and he stopped making that noise when I shook him..I actually lifted him by his arm and he was totally limp…I knew something was wrong..but didnt know how bad until I walked back outside because I had not heard Daddy’s footsteps on that old wooden front porch…see, Daddy didnt drive up the driveway that night..he just pulled into the front yard and told Mama to take us inside. When I walked back out, Daddy had Tracy lying on the tailgate, breathing into him..I knew what he was doing as we had studied it in school just a few days earlier..I must have made some noise because Daddy lifted his head long enough to say..’get back in the house’. No rain revived Tracy that night…We lived to far out for any other help to come in time. Daddy and The Lord are the reason Tracy is alive today. The icecream was to stimulate his system..ofcourse Mama and Daddy were afraid to put him to bed. Ofcourse Nancy and Kevin didnt really know. They were younger. It was late at night. Mama found me on my knees in my room. I was just a child too..about 10 years old. I knew Tracy was in serious condition…I did not get sent to bed again…not until Daddy brought Tracy inside and he was responsive…then Mama came and said “honey, go to bed’. I knew my baby brother was going to live. I knew that God’s presence was there that night. In the lives of each of us children there has been at least one extremely close call with death..did you all realize that? Only Kevin has not come close to death. (at least not when we were children) We may not know the reasons why this is…the purpose may have been for others to know. Often things happen that never make sense to us..but perhaps they make sense or a difference in the lives of others. I dont believe all things happen for a reason..I do believe that God spares lives for a reason. I accept that I may never know what that reason is….but I know that in our lives..we have many many things for which to be thankful.

  3. heather eubanks said:

    AMEN MOM

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